Google without the desktop

New patent applications and a financial statement from Google arrived this morning. They point at a Google that’s growing a little less dependent on cables and desktop computers.

Google filed their annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commision today, and there are some interesting statements within it.

One area mentioned, that has a lot of room for growth for the Mountain View search giant, is the mobile device market. In the section of the report on “How We Provide Value to Users, Advertisers, and Content Owners and Producers” Google tells us:

Multiple Access Platforms. Mobile phones are a fundamental development platform for us. Many people around the world have their first experience of the Internet—and Google—on their mobile phones. We have continued to invest in improving mobile search and recently introduced the beta of Google Local for Mobile—a downloadable application for mobile phones that combines maps, directions, and satellite imagery to let people find relevant information when and where they need it, even if they are not close to a computer.

The Google Mobile page includes information on mobile versions of web search, news, a personalized home page, Gmail, and local search. Their Short Message Service (SMS) provides weather updates, movie listings, driving directions, and more. The mobile service I’ve used the most is the local search.

The financial statement later talks about expanding upon Google’s present advertising models, along a “broader range of media.”

Broader Range of Media. Our experiments with targeted ads in new media also open up new inventory options to AdWords advertisers. With the acquisition of dMarc in February 2006, Google plans to unite our network of advertisers with dMarc’s innovative radio ad distribution product. In addition, we have begun testing ad placements in mobile search in Japan. In each of these cases, our goal is to provide targeted advertisements with measurable performance. We are also currently testing ad placements in select magazines and newspapers and, among other things, experimenting with ways of streamlining the process of placing print ads.

I knew about the radio and print options (also desktop free approaches), but hadn’t heard about the mobile search ad placement testing in Japan.

We’ve seen Google recently make deals with Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and Vodafone to add mobile search to those providers of mobile services. Google also came out with a patent application on advertising on mobile phones in early January.

In addition to making it easier to use Google by phone, we also see some efforts to make it easier to connect with Google by laptops and other wireless devices with three patent applications published today at the site of the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Method and system to provide wireless access at a reduced rate

Filed on September 14, 2004, and published today, the inventors of document number 20060059043 are Wesley T. Chan, Shioupyn Shen, and Georges Harik.

Abstract:

Methods and system for providing wireless access at a reduced rate. In one embodiment, access to a WAP is provided to an end-user at a rate subsidized by a first entity. The first entity includes advertisements in an end-user view.

Method and system to provide advertisements based on wireless access points

Also filed on September 14, 2004 and published today, the inventors of document number 20060059044 are Wesley T. Chan, Shioupyn Shen, and Georges Harik.

Abstract:

Methods and system to provide advertisements in a view of an end user accessing a wireless access point. The advertisements are related to the WAP based on a predetermined criterion.

Method and system for dynamically modifying the appearance of browser screens on a client device

Filed on September 15, 2004, and published today, the inventors of document number 20060058019 are Wesley T. Chan and Shioupyn Shen.

Abstract

In one embodiment, a connection of a client device to a wireless access point is identified. Further, the appearance of a screen presented on the client device is modified to reflect the brand associated with a provider of the wireless access point.

At some point in the future, googling will likely be something people do more with their phone and other handheld devices than on their desktop computers. That time might be closer than we may think.

4 thoughts on “Google without the desktop”

  1. Thanks for the heads-up on this one, Bill. If Google thinks it’s important, then it behooves us all to pay attention. I’m beginning to think that there are really two almost independent worlds: that’s the Desktop world and the Mobile world. You really can’t afford not to be visible in both.

  2. Thanks, Barry. That’s a good way of looking at this. When Google says “Mobile phones are a fundamental development platform for us,” we really should pay attention.

    There are a whole lot of other folks, including competitiors and potential partners for Google in the mobile space, which makes the area worth watching, and planning for carefully.

  3. How do you keep up with all of their new patents!? It seems like new ones are being released everyday. Anyway, I’m just starting to research mobile advertising and marketing. There’s a lot to be learned but it isn’t going anywhere, that’s for sure.

  4. Hi Mike,

    I search through a few thousand granted, and newly published pending patents each week.

    It can be a fair amount of work to do so, but I usually run across some interesting stuff when I do, which makes it worth doing.

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